StartupNation Growth Hacks #7: A Rare Hiring Opportunity

The seventh in a series.

The Great Resignation has left millions unemployed — by choice. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted workers to rethink what they wanted from their jobs. Given the leverage that employees have over corporate hiring these days, there are many highly qualified candidates who simply don’t want to return to the traditional corporate 9-to-5 culture. Instead, they are looking for perks such as flexible work scheduling and a hybrid work-from-home arrangement, for example. And many of these prospective hires are even willing to trade compensation in order to have the perks they desire. So given that, who stands to benefit? You do! The small business community should be actively pursuing hiring opportunities.

Let’s get to work!

Hiring Trends to Counteract Today’s Staffing Challenges

Here are some perks to attract valuable candidates.

Hiring employees is still one of your biggest, if not the biggest, expense a fledgling small business undertakes so be sure that you are hiring top talent that can bring real value toward very specific goals and milestones. It’s a win-win when you can give truly talented people the perks they want. Here are some of them:

  1. Flexible work schedules, perhaps even flex pay depending on how many hours are worked.
  2. Hybrid and other work-from-home models. The opportunity to work from home broadens the pool of talent you can consider when hiring.
  3. Additional time off. 
  4. Ownership by way of equity or stock options. Give them a the sense of ownership and importance that a corporate job simply can’t offer.
  5. Consider a 1099 arrangement as opposed to employment in cases where for the employee and for you, you are confident that the IRS guidelines can be met.

Bonus tips:

  1. Create a company organization chart – even if it is just you and one new hire. A well-thought-out org chart indicates who’s responsible for what and makes sure you set clear milestones and expectations in which the prospective employee participates to ensure clear buy-in.
  2. Incorporate strengths-awareness in your company culture. Strengths-awareness can bring out the best in each employee by increasing confidence and skill set growth.
  3. Once you have your hires in place, give them what they need to succeed. Remote workplaces require added measures, including training and constructive two-way feedback.
  4. Always have a clear exit strategy in the event that things don’t go as hoped. We recommend a “work-for-hire” arrangement in which the employee or employer can provide written notice to terminate for any reason. And if you offer equity or stock options, make sure you don’t start vesting until a minimum period is fulfilled, say six months, at which point you start the equity vesting over the next few years (a two- to three-year equity vesting schedule is common).

While making the wrong hire can be very costly, making the right one can lead to transformative growth for your small business.

Put this hack to work for you now!

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: A free resource for learning basic business skills, the latest digital technology and more.

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